May 4, 2012
I'm headed to the hamlet of Lewiston, New York on Sunday, a few miles from the relative hustle and bustle of Buffalo but still proximate to plenty of chicken wings. I went last year and had a ball over the course of three days of fishing. This year I'll only get to fish two days and that puts me in a bit of a pickle: I'm desperate to catch a personal-best smallmouth to beat the 4-14 that I caught last year. I know the locals and the Erie regulars scoff at that kind of dink, so I want to break the 5-pound mark, and preferably notch a 6-pounder so that I can retain my man card.
The problem is that Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario provide many more options than just brown fish. As you can see from the picture, last year I got to spend some time chasing lake trout with my friend Lawrence Taylor and super-guide Frank Campbell. There are various other kinds of salmonids there. They also have walleye...and muskies...even perch if that's your thing. Can I give up the quest for a big bronzeback in order to fish for a species that I can't find closer to home? I suppose all of this will be made easier if I catch a bruiser smallmouth on the first day, but they might just be like potato chips, where you can't stop at just one.